21 July 2017
visit www.finastra.com

BMO closes the door on bitcoin businesses

19 February 2014  |  5417 views  |  0 Bitcoin

Bank of Monetral is closing all bitcoin-related business accounts across Canada in the wake of hostile comments from government ministers on the threats posed by emerging crypto-currencies.

BMO's move to distance itself from bitcoin businesses was revealed by Vancouver-based exchange Cointrader.

"We were informed this morning by our bank that the last remaining Bitcoin-friendly charter bank, Bank of Montreal, is closing all Bitcoin-related business accounts across Canada," explains Cointrader co-founder and CTO Paul Szczesny. "Despite the fact that Cointrader has already implemented an anti-money laundering regime to comply with potential Fintrac regulations which was vetted by BMO itself, the bank has decided to sever our account as well."

Szczesny blames the decision on recent statements by Canadian finance minister Jim Flaherty, who singled out bitcoin as a threat to financial stability.

"It is important to continually improve Canada's regime to address emerging risks," said Flaherty, "including virtual currencies such as bitcoin, that threaten Canada's international leadership in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing."

The removal of bank support is a crushing blow for Cointrader, which earlier this week announced plans to locate new bitcoin ATMs in Singapore and London. The firm - which has grown from a three-person operation to a business employing ten staff in less than six months - is also working on POS systems, secure storage, and a hardware project.

"As a result of these recent events, we are being forced to consider relocating our headquarters to a more innovative jurisdiction where dubious fear-mongering does not pre-emptively close doors on the entrepreneurial spirit," says Szczesny. "If Canada continues it's negative stance, and chooses not to help this thriving economy grow in accordance with the law, then we will be forced to relocate to more forward-thinking economies which are able to encourage innovation while also effectively deterring criminal behaviour."

In the interim, he says, the business will continue operations as normal as it explores alternative banking arrangements. "We do not expect any downtime," says Szczesny.

Comments: (0)

Comment on this story (membership required)

Finextra news in your inbox

For Finextra's free daily newsletter, breaking news flashes and weekly jobs board: sign up now

Related stories

Bitcoin plunges again after dark market Web hack

Bitcoin plunges again after dark market Web hack

14 February 2014  |  6678 views  |  7 comments | 10 tweets | 7 linkedin
Standard Bank tests current account-linked bitcoin wallet

Standard Bank tests current account-linked bitcoin wallet

11 February 2014  |  15898 views  |  2 comments | 14 tweets | 13 linkedin
Bitcoin bug causes massive sell-off

Bitcoin bug causes massive sell-off

10 February 2014  |  14426 views  |  7 comments | 23 tweets | 16 linkedin
Triple whammy hits bitcoin price

Triple whammy hits bitcoin price

07 February 2014  |  6263 views  |  1 comments | 13 tweets | 5 linkedin
BitInstant CEO charged with money laundering over Silk Road scheme

BitInstant CEO charged with money laundering over Silk Road scheme

27 January 2014  |  3613 views  |  0 comments | 4 tweets | 3 linkedin
Wells Fargo and JPMorgan take contrasting stance on bitcoin

Wells Fargo and JPMorgan take contrasting stance on bitcoin

24 January 2014  |  13055 views  |  2 comments | 11 tweets | 14 linkedin
Feds get go-ahead to sell $28 million bitcoin stash; eBay UK to open virtual currency category

Feds get go-ahead to sell $28 million bitcoin stash; eBay UK to open virtual currency category

17 January 2014  |  6071 views  |  2 comments | 5 tweets | 10 linkedin
Indian bitcoin exchange shuts after central bank warning

Indian bitcoin exchange shuts after central bank warning

02 January 2014  |  7289 views  |  1 comments | 7 tweets | 3 linkedin
China bans banks from bitcoin transactions as Wall Street wades in

China bans banks from bitcoin transactions as Wall Street wades in

05 December 2013  |  7933 views  |  7 comments | 9 tweets | 6 linkedin
HSBC man is first in line as bitcoin ATM racks up $10K on inaugural outing

HSBC man is first in line as bitcoin ATM racks up $10K on inaugural outing

31 October 2013  |  11895 views  |  0 comments | 13 tweets | 8 linkedin
Dwolla kills support for bitcoin

Dwolla kills support for bitcoin

11 October 2013  |  15793 views  |  0 comments | 14 tweets | 6 linkedin
Tradehill suspends bitcoin trading in face of regulatory heat

Tradehill suspends bitcoin trading in face of regulatory heat

30 August 2013  |  7489 views  |  0 comments | 7 tweets | 1 linkedin

Related company news

 

Related blogs

Create a blog about this story (membership required)
visit www.www.fisglobal.comvisit www.niceactimize.comvisit vasco.com/news/PSD2-compliant-solutions

Top topics

Most viewed Most shared
German fintech factory FinLeap raises EUR39 millionGerman fintech factory FinLeap raises EUR3...
12726 views comments | 19 tweets | 15 linkedin
EPC gears up for pan-European instant paymentsEPC gears up for pan-European instant paym...
9891 views comments | 10 tweets | 28 linkedin
Mastercard to buy AI outfit BrighterionMastercard to buy AI outfit Brighterion
8759 views comments | 14 tweets | 20 linkedin
Barclays rides payments-as-a-service wave with investment in Form3Barclays rides payments-as-a-service wave...
7961 views comments | 16 tweets | 12 linkedin
hands typing furiouslyThe Digital Trade Chain: the blockchain tr...
7726 views 0 | 5 tweets | 16 linkedin

Featured job

Competitive
London, UK (or flexible)

Find your next job